The Washington Post headline screams:
Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win the White House!
The WaPo‘s Dec. 9 report by Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller begins with:
“The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.”
Did the CIA really say that?
Reporting for Reuters on the hyperventilating WaPo article, David Alexander points out the following (note: words between brackets [ ] are mine):
“Citing [unnamed — it’s a secret!] U.S. officials briefed on the matter, the Post said intelligence agencies had identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, to WikiLeaks.
The [unnamed — it’s a secret!] officials described the individuals as people known to the intelligence community who were part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and reduce Clinton’s chances of winning the election.
“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” the Post quoted a senior [unnamed — it’s a secret!] U.S. official as saying. “That’s the consensus view.”
The Post said the official had been briefed on an intelligence presentation made by the Central Intelligence Agency to key U.S. senators behind closed-doors last week.
The CIA, in what the Post said was a secret assessment, cited a growing body of evidence from multiple sources. Briefers told the senators it was now “quite clear” that electing Trump was Russia’s goal, the Post quoted officials as saying on condition of anonymity.
In October, the U.S. government formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.
President Barack Obama has said he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin about consequences for the attacks. But Russian officials have denied all accusations of interference in the U.S. election.
A CIA spokeswoman said the agency had no comment on the report….
The hacked emails passed to WikiLeaks were a regular source of embarrassment to the Clinton campaign during the race for the presidency.
The CIA presentation fell short of a formal U.S. assessment by all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, the Post said. A senior U.S. official said there remained minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the assessment because some questions are unanswered, it said.
Intelligence agencies did not have specific intelligence showing the Kremlin directed the individuals to pass the hacked emails to WikiLeaks, another senior official told the Post. The actors were “one step” removed from the Russian government rather than government employees, the official said.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said in a television interview that the Russian government was not the source of the emails, the Post said.”
Did you get that?
The WaPo article began with:
“The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency….”
But when you read the article more carefully, it turns out the CIA made no such conclusion because:
- The CIA doesn’t really know what happened: “there remained minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the assessment because some questions are unanswered“.
- The CIA doesn’t really have evidence that Russia directed “secret agents” to pass the hacked DNC/Hillary/Podesta emails to WikiLeaks: “Intelligence agencies did not have specific intelligence showing the Kremlin directed the individuals to pass the hacked emails to WikiLeaks”.
- And if there is no evidence showing Russia directed its agents to pass the emails to WikiLeaks, then how in the world does the CIA know that Russia “intervened” in the 2016 election?
- Which is probably why other U.S. intelligence agencies don’t agree with the CIA: “The CIA presentation fell short of a formal U.S. assessment by all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies”.
In other words, the Washington Post outright lied when it reported that “The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency”.
Shame on you, Washington Post — peddler of fake news.
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